Storytelling & Sharing: BCAMA Digital Storytelling Panel Recap

Content Vs Storytelling

Me in the audience ready for the BCAMA digital storyteller panelWhen panels are set up in an “A vs B” format, it’s not surprising when every speaker sits on the fence. Most of these events are set up in a way that if they didn’t, they would come off as either short sighted or just wrong.

This event was no different, but each speaker was able to how and why producing compelling content is key in today’s online world.

My favourite speaker of the group was Ashley Brooks (@ashjbee) from Hootsuite because she included the best takeaways. Her presentation was structured more like a lesson plan than a story, which was great for taking notes. For example:

The 10 Secrets to Shareable Content

  1. Design it to be shareable.
    When creating content think to yourself: Will people share this? If the answer is no, you need to ask yourself why. If the content isn’t worthy of a share, is it even worth reading? Is it worth creating?
  2. Tell a story (archetypes and story structure).
    Most people do not enjoy reading fact sheets. They like to be entertained. No matter what type of content you are creating, make sure that it is designed to be digested in a friendly format.
  3. Shorter is better (usually).
    TL;DR (too long; didn’t read). For the most part audiences are lazy. We can no longer expect people to be reading books, let alone 1,000 word articles, when they are used to reading only 140 character tweets. This also applies to videos. Only a fraction of people will stick around until the end of a two minute YouTube video.
  4. Visual/Video wins.
    If people are given the option of reading a story or watching a video, they will likely choose the video. If you aren’t telling your story in a format your audience wants, they will watch somebody else’s story.
  5. Secrets to Sharable Content

    People not Product.
    Don’t focus on the product. Focus on the people who will be using the product and how their life can be improved by it. This will make the story telling experience much easier for you and much more enjoyable for your audience.

  6. Make your customer the hero.
    As mentioned above, tell the story of the people. Tell the story of somebody in your target market saving they day. I don’t know about you, but I love stories where I am the hero.
  7. Remember search (YouTube is a search engine).
    The second biggest search engine! Be sure to include keywords in your video title. Better yet, think of what your audience will be searching for and name it that. Instead of “Brad’s Great Alarm Clock Product Commercial”, name it “How to Stop Sleeping Through Your Alarm Clock”. For webpages or blog posts be sure to include your meta titles and descriptions.
  8. Focus on evergreen content.
    This is content that ages well. This is content that is so great and valuable that in 3 years from now, you should be able to repurpose it and it will still be valuable to your customers. Evergreen content is great for SEO since it should attract a steady stream of visitors.
  9. Promotion/ distribution strategy is critical.
    Great content won’t find an audience on their own. You need to get it out to them. Sharing it throughout your social media channels is a great start. Also think about reaching out to influencers in your industry as well. A good link or share from a trusted expert could get you to hundreds of new views.
  10. 10.   Make it easy to share (share buttons).
    When people get to your content. Make it easy for them to share. As I mentioned earlier: people are lazy. Really, really lazy. If you make people cut and paste links into their own twitter or Facebook pages it could take them tens of seconds of their valuable time. If include sharing buttons on your site it will reduce it down to only a few seconds.The difference sounds small, but it will have a massive impact on the amounts of shares you get.

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